Game Builder Garage first came out to the public last month, when Nintendo revealed the game development kit. Fans loved the idea of being able to make their own games on their Nintendo Switch. With games like Super Mario Maker 2 and tools like Nintendo Labo, players can express their creativity with Nintendo’s hybrid console. This adds another layer of creative expression for the Switch. But with all the interest people have about Game Builder Garage, does it actually deliver its promise?
Game Builder Garage Release Date: June 11, 2021
Game Builder Garage released on June 11, 2021. Nintendo unveiled the game last May, almost entirely without fanfare. Still, the game’s premise caught the attention of people, so maybe it really didn’t need lots of marketing to gain exposure. We’ve had our eyes on this since its release because we care about game development here. We believe that this application has the potential to inspire the next generation of game developers. The game is directed and marketed towards kids, which you can easily tell by its aesthetics. However, does it actually does a good job in teaching children video game development? Does it do a good job in its visual programming?
Let’s ask the critics what they think about Game Builder Garage.
Game Builder Garage Review Scores: Aggregate Score of 79 at Metacritic
Game Builder Garage arrives as lowkey as it got announced. Yet, it still received enough attention from critics. It’s one of those titles that will always get talked about, and critics have started talking about it upon release. We believe it’ll continue to prop up in conversations in the future merely because of the idea behind it. But what do critics say about it today? Well, it’s good enough, looks like. With an aggregate score of 79 at Metacritic, it’s high enough to warrant a second look for anyone’s not yet convinced today. However, it has so far haven’t received enough attention from the market. It doesn’t look like a lot of people have picked the game up and tried it. As of today, the game doesn’t have a User Score on Metacritic.
But again, what do critics say about Game Builder Garage? Mostly positive, but with a lot of caveats.
There are some who had a highly optimistic view of the title. One of the highest review scores was given by God is a Geek. Reviewing the game, it says: “Game Builder Garage is typically brilliant Nintendo.” However, even the most optimistic of Game Builder Garage had some scathing remarks for the title. The biggest criticism for it is its lack of online community functionalities. You can only access other people’s creations by getting their code for their creations. There’s no way for you to browse all creations online. “The broader issue is that if you’re not getting online with communities, there’s no way for you to find other people’s creations. What you’re left with is a brilliant creation toolset full of the charm and wit you’d expect, but with no way to share it other than your Twitter feed.”
Meanwhile, there are those who felt that the game had a lot of promise, but some glaring issues prevent it from being THE creation tool for video game development. “Game Builder Garage feels like the perfect place to build a game prototype,” says The Gamer. “You can create a basic idea, see if it works and is fun, and then maybe take that concept into a real game engine development kit – but not much more.”
That’s a real shame, in that you really can’t take this title and create full-fledge games out of it. But in terms of achieving its goals – to inspire kids to become creative and aspire to become game developers – Game Builder Garage is very successful in that regard. All it needs to do now is to get this title in the hands of as many children as it can.